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Living in groups, on the ground and in the trees

An agile monkey

The mandrill stands out due to its striking colours. The red and blue hues that symmetrically adorn its front and rump also constitute secondary sexual features and are much less apparent in females. One might also suggest that nature has endowed the mandrill with a war mask designed to impress potential competitors. Males are extremely bad-tempered and highly dangerous. They are known for their fits of rage, which come on suddenly and can be devastating.

Mandrills are found in south-western Cameroon, western Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and south-western Congo.

Mandrills live in groups and travel together looking for food. Their society is strictly hierarchical. They are highly courageous and never back down when faced with an adversary. Despite their apparent bulkiness, these monkeys move with astonishing ease and are as agile on the ground as in the trees, where they seek refuge when exposed to a real threat.

  • Un mandrill entre deux troncs d'arbres au zoo Le PAL
  • Un mandrill marchant près de l'eau au zoo Le PAL
  • Un mandrill près d'une petite cascade au zoo Le PAL
  • Un mandrill marchant à côté d'un cours d'eau au zoo Le PAL
  • Habitat

    Spends most of its time on the ground, Africa (forests of Cameroon and Gabon).

  • Food

    Almost exclusively vegetarian (various fruit, mushrooms, roots) Occasionally insects, molluscs or small vertebrates.

Did you know ?

The mandrill’s bad reputation is mainly due to its attitude, which has been interpreted as being deliberately insulting. It expresses itself by exhibiting its rear end with an insistence that has been deemed shocking. In reality, this behaviour is a sign of allegiance, mimicking the female as she submits to a male. One must nonetheless be wary towards this show of politeness, for when mandrills become highly agitated, they adopt this position and project their excrement over a distance covering several metres.

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